Friday, May 29, 2020

Gotta Love Those Bavarians

Schloss Neuschwanstein
(Source)

Once upon a time der Truppe des Alte Luftwaffe Feldwebels had the opportunity, as part of my duties with the Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Decontamination Team (Mannschaft für nukleare, biologische und chemische Dekontamination, if you will, and I do) I, and the family, got to spend a week in Bavaria. Oberammergau (yes, the one where they perform the Passion Play every ten years, which the villagers vowed to do if God would spare them from the Plague... Hhmm, I have an idea...) was the place where the school was (and still is as I am reliably informed), the NATO School Oberammergau -

The school is that cluster of aligned buildings on the edge of the forest.
Google Maps
Our quarters, a lovely apartment, or flat for you English-types, is in the building circled on the right,
the school itself is in the circle to the left. Yes, a little over a hundred feet to get to work.

Google Maps

It was a very non-stressful time in the beauty of a small Bavarian town. I really, really, really enjoyed it. Did I mention that I enjoyed it? Well, I did.

Learned about decontaminating stuff and why (I knew both already but hey, NATO paid for the trip), and The Missus Herself and the progeny got to take a day trip to Austria, and we all got to visit that place in the opening photo.

The last night there the school threw a party, where I learned about this -

Mass Bier
(Source)

Liter mugs of excellent Bavarian beer. (No, I didn't drink that much.) I almost hated to leave.

But yeah, Bavaria, I like the place, I like the people.

Take for instance, this band, not exactly traditional Bavarian music, but rock and roll with a Bavarian kick.

No, I do not own a pair of Lederhosen. Not that I wasn't tempted...




Ja, mein Musikgeschmack ist ziemlich eklektisch.


Hit tip to Doctor Grumpy!



No Friday Flyby today, maybe Saturday, I dunno. Thursday was jam-packed with meetings, two short, one long, which is the Morse Code for "U." Long day, short night... (Morse Code for "N." Okay, I'll stop now.)

48 comments:

  1. But wait there's more!
    I followed up by visiting the group's YouTube site and found they'd also covered AC/DC's Highway to Hell and Lady Gaga's Poker Face.
    My hindbrain nudged me and said, "They are sorta like a Bavarian Mariachi Band."
    A quick trip to the internet turned up a face off between an Oompah Band and a Mariachi Band,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrHznYtUTu0
    And because why not, a Mariachi Band cover of "Highway to Hell," (leap in at 2:30)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q18abxp6aU
    And a cover by 2CELLOS,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfGggAGITwg
    The hindbrain wasn't yet happy and said, "Find out if there is a drum cover of Highway to Hell."
    There is,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF6G4SU1dws

    Hmmm. We know this retired Air Force guy that plays the drums........

    Good post!





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    1. Oh there are covers out there for almost every song ever written. One could go nuts trying to find them all. (Yes, I've tried.)

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    2. John, now don't be dissin' Mariachi music. I've been listening to it blaring away all day long for about 5 months now. Starting to dig it!

      Even the horses seem to like it.

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    3. Sarge. How quickly "I'm going to check on this one song." turns into a long dive into the rabbit hole.

      juvat. I didn't mention it in my comment because I'd already wandered far afield, but I checked out hiring a Mariachi Band in Philly. Sometime in the future when it's least expected, I plan to have a Mariachi Band playing at some family event.

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    4. juvat - Some time back had dinner in a Mexican restaurant in Sandy Eggo, knew it was good with all the Mexican families eating there. They had a strolling mariachi band! Found was great, music was "¡Muy bien!"

      My musical tastes include the music from south of the border.

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    5. John - It's what we need, more mariachi!

      I had the chance to watch the mariachi cover of Highway to Hell, the opening accordion bit was excellent, it's the beginning of another AC/DC song, Thunderstruck, I like those guys!

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    6. Sarge. I looked to see if the bagpiper that was in the Shipping up to Boston video had covered "Highway to Hell" and she hadn't. But she did cover "Thunderstruck." She goes by The Snake Charmer on YouTube.

      We are looking forward to returning to the authentic Mexican restaurant near us.

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    7. Well, considering all the other civilizing influences that Germans, specifically Bavarians, brought to Mexico, like BEEEEEEEERRRRR, it would not be too much of a leap to say that maybe oompa bands had some influence on mariachi music. Similar instruments, with the addition of more stringed for the mariachi.

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    8. An interesting hypotheses Herr Doktor Beans. Both are delightful in their own ways. FWIW, The Missus Herself really doesn't care for oompah music. Bavaria, the multiple Oktoberfests we attended at our NATO base, and our one trip to the Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim all tried her musical patience. (Bad Dürkheim was a blast, what little I remember of it!)

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    9. When you break it down, traditional Mariachi music has many of the same beats and sounds as oompah music, which has many similar beats and sounds as traditional middle-euro Jewish music.

      Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

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  2. Frickin' multi-meetings and long day/short night. Apparently it's a thing. This cattle gig is supposed to be peaceful and low stress. And it is. Moving house, not so much. Ah well, I'll sleep in Valhalla.

    Fun post, they really do BavariRock that tune.

    Here's a fun one. I like this Leo Moracchioli dude. Norway I think...

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    1. Holy Crap he's good!

      Listened to his cover of Toto's Africa, outstanding!

      Bloody Vikings...

      (Spam, spam, spam, spam...)

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    2. Did I hear the words... "Cattle Gig"? Why does suddenly all sorts of real cowboy music start flowing into my mind? Not to mention "Riders in the Sky"?

      Wonder if the featured group has done any cowpoke music...

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    3. Cattle like music? I missed that!

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    4. "Red River Valley" with an oompah beat is now running through my head.

      And... it sounds good.

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    5. Hahaha!

      (Great, now it's stuck in my head!)

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  3. There's a good start to the weekend, liter mugs and a "Bavarian Mariachi Band"......:) Now St Paul is burning.....:(

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    Replies
    1. Liter mugs are always good.

      Let's not talk about Minnesota...

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  4. Spot on, Sarge. Magnificent scenery, wonderful people.

    Unless my geography is off, in your Schloss Neuschwanstein photo, the tallest peak on the horizon is the Zugspitze.

    When I was first in my unit (summer '74) a couple of slots came through for R&R at AFRC in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. At first I stood back, figuring that I was an FNG and should give longer serving folks the first shot. I was more than a little surprise when the reaction of most of the troops was "meh".

    What a deal. Five days of R&R that did't come off your leave time. Free transportation, including the train there and back. Hotel rooms (IIRC) $3.50 a night. Two other guys signed up, but on slot just stayed open, so I finally said "Hell yeah, I'm in". Rode the tram to the top of the Zugspitze. The view from the top deck of the lodge is 360 degrees. Takes your breath away.

    I went two more times, both in winter to ski the Zugspitze. We rode the cog train up and inside the mountain. There is a portal to the outside in the tunnel part way up. The train stops there and you can get off and then ski down the mountain. We did this on the way down. Takes about an hour to ski down the mountain.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The Zugspitze is to the left of Neuschwanstein in that picture, 15 miles south. Can't see it from that photo.

      My Dad had fond memories of Garmisch, he spent some time there when he was in Germany in the late '40s.

      There still are a number of U.S. facilities in Garmisch. I never visited them because I was in Germany, not to hang out with other Americans but to hang out with Germans. NATO was perfect for that.

      Though for a young unaccompanied troop, it was a good deal. Though most young troops are looking for good deals, they're more interested in the local Fräuleins!

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    2. Sarge/

      I used to spend two weeks every summer while stationed in the UK. Garmisch has a great sports complex for GIs built immediately post WWII (construction of which was supervised by my 1st cousin-by-marriage Col A.J. Hughes, Army, Arty and W.P. roommate of Lt Gen C.M. Talbott, USAF-both WP'43) Has (among other facilities) a large tennis complex of clay & grass courts, large clubhouse, changing rooms and even dorm complex. USAFE held its annual all-star tournament there. I'd attend as part of the all Third AF team representing that U.K. command. The CG, 3rdAF would lend us his staff VIP old C-47 to fly us over.(interior was pretty plush tho--he saved the T-39 for his personal use.LOL!)

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    3. I've heard it's still a beautiful complex.

      So, getting chauffeured around Europe in a VIP Gooney Bird. You're a rock star Virgil!

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    4. "You're a rock star..."

      WAS, Sarge, was, alas.. Then I married. You know the old saw: "No man's ever a hero to his own valet?" Well, guess what, applies in spades when the wife is thrown into the equation--inferior creatures we mere males obviously be. :)

      (True story: Once in the UK I was dating a ravishing red-headed divorcee. One nite during one of our tender moments she turned to me and asked: "Virgil, are you really smart or are you just glib?" LOL! I knew instantly that I had to immediately drop her like a hot potato as she was far too perceptive for my own good! :) )

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    5. Hahaha!

      The Adventures of Virgil Xenophon, what a movie that would be!

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    6. Sarge/ old BFF retired New Orleans Maritime Law attorney from college days once joked about me to a young damsel from my college days whom I had resumed dating during my AF career shortly after Vietnam: "VX has so many skeletons in his past they had to build an addition on to his house just so he'd have enough closets to put 'em all in!" LOLLOL!

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  5. Thanks for the picture of the Schloss - while I've seen plenty of pictures of it, none from that angle showing the surrounding area. Pretty good location, nicht wahr? Was just reading how the current castle was fairly recent, but occupies a spot which held a couple of medieval castles.
    I saw the clip at Dr. Grumpy's the other day and thought it was great, although the audio seems to have been recorded separately from the video (no mics visible in the video, but maybe mics out of camera could pick up such great audio). Really enjoyable. I avoided the temptation to go looking for more since I knew it would be a time sink, but dangit, you guys have made it too easy. There goes a couple of hours!
    Several of the TexMex joints where I used to hang out had mariachi bands - always a fun accompaniment to the meal.
    John - LOL! we expect a report and pictures of the Mariachi surprise you spring on your family.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. They did dub the audio in. If you listen you can hear the kick drum (bass drum) but there is no pedal to play it. On a hardwood floor like that the drum would run away from you!

      Many music videos are made that way. Which is neither good nor bad, you get the band but you get high quality sound. It's a trade-off.

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  6. Hey AFSarge;

    Man the Memories; LOL the beer, LOL, the singing, lol good times. When I forst got to Germany, I went to guardmount in Garmish/Partinkirchen. 2 hours south of Munich during octoberfest. I still have the beerstein, LOL. We are G.I's we souvenir everything longtime, LOL. All I can is that it set the stage for my 5 years in Germany.

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    1. Absolutely loved my 7+ years in Germany. Being in NATO helped as we were spared the bulk of the USAFE and USAREUR bovine feces. We were far far away from the main American bases down south.

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  7. Something about a dirndl... Sigh.

    And cruising through their videos, dirndl and a mean electric guitar, including the head bob and everything. Double sigh.

    Go to the group's youstoobe site, they have 5 videos up. Daddy want more...

    It takes a good group to properly cross-genre music. And enjoy doing so. Their concerts must be fun to experience.

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    1. Of course I went to their channel, already subscribed, even went to their auf Deutsch website. Yes, I'm a fan.

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  8. I regret deeply that more German food restaurants are not found within my operating area. Last count, at 100 mile radius, there are... zero. Bastiges. Need more Spätlese, schnitzel and spaetzle, dangit.

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    1. Ah but what sort of "German" food? There are many regional varieties of German cuisine, most of them quite good. But yes, not enough German restaurants around. Haven't really found a good one in these parts. Of course, I was spoiled by the real thing. Our local restaurant/pub in Waldfeucht was outstanding. Multiple varieties of schnitzel (it's the sauces which make the dish) and, of course, gutes deutsches Bier. At least these days I can get really good beer in this country, wasn't always the case! The Missus Herself does an awesome schnitzel, so that helps.

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    2. Preference to the Bavarian flavor myself. And you can't do really good apfel steusel unless you're at least 1 mile above sea level and in a dry environment. Sea Level streusel is okay, but the high altitude stuff really rocks the boat.

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    3. Bavarian is good, very good!

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  9. One of the nicer things my leadership did was to send Tom O'Connor and I to a 13 week demolition school in Bad Tolz, 1964. They were in hopes we would blow ourselves up so they wouldn't need to deal with us (Tom and I didn't earn a Good Conduct Medal during our service). Wonderful place for a Colorado mountain lad.

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  10. Who knew the offspring of Herr Blofeld and Frau Klebb had such a great voice?

    I think I could spend an entire year there. Certainly a year, probably ten.

    Rick

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  11. If you're ever around these parts feel free to get in touch; Upper Franconia is an order of magnitude better than Bavaria, who should by rights be our vassals, or at least not mooching our money. Instead of grossly overpriced overcrowded Oktoberfest, we have a tradition called "Kerwa", short for "Kirchweih", Once upon a time a village festival to celebrate re-dedication of the Church, now simply an excuse to eat "Krenfleisch" (Pork or Beef in Horseradish Sauce), "Schaeufele" (Roast Pork Shoulder), Dumplings, and drink lots of Beer and look at Dirndls in the wild. Think of many smaller Oktoberfests spread throughout Summer...

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    Replies
    1. Our village had a number of festivals throughout the year, we didn't celebrate Oktoberfest as that's really a Bavarian thing. We did do it on the base as we did have Bavarians in the unit.

      You had me at horseradish sauce!

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    2. "Krehn" is wild horseradish, must be careful as it can be powerful. A colleague is an avid cook and found a large supply growing at a football complex he mows on weekends...we sneak a bit extra along to kerwas since most folks cook it pretty weak. Goes nicely with Dunkelbier. It's fortunate The Crisis One Must Not Name (TCOMNN) will be over soon, we're way into Biergarten weather already and they're just opening now. If you want riots, take away the German's beer. They don't burn down their own neighborhoods, either....

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    3. Most interesting. Und ja, never mess with a German's beer!

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